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Sep 11, 2019

A smart artificial hand for amputees merges user and robotic control

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, engineering, robotics/AI

EPFL scientists are developing new approaches for improved control of robotic hands—in particular for amputees—that combines individual finger control and automation for improved grasping and manipulation. This interdisciplinary proof of concept between neuroengineering and robotics was successfully tested on three amputees and seven healthy subjects. The results are published in today’s issue of Nature Machine Intelligence.

The technology merges two concepts from two different fields. Implementing them both together had never been done before for robotic hand control, and contributes to the emerging field of shared control in neuroprosthetics.

One concept, from neuroengineering, involves deciphering intended finger movement from muscular activity on the amputee’s stump for individual finger control of the prosthetic hand which has never before been done. The other, from robotics, allows the robotic hand to help take hold of objects and maintain contact with them for robust grasping.

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